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Here's How to Write Well

Here's How to Write Well - 99 edition

ISBN13: 978-0205273829

Cover of Here
ISBN13: 978-0205273829
ISBN10: 0205273823
Edition: 99
Copyright: 1999
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Published: 1999
International: No

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Here's How to Write Well - 99 edition

ISBN13: 978-0205273829

Elizabeth McMahan and Robert Funk

ISBN13: 978-0205273829
ISBN10: 0205273823
Edition: 99
Copyright: 1999
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Published: 1999
International: No

Achieving excellence in any activity requires practice: Basketball players must practice their free throws, concert violinists must rehearse their scores, and writers of all levels must exercise their critical reading and writing skills. There is, of course, a major distinction between these examples; while basketball and orchestra practice are reserved for those who choose such activities, writing skills are required for successful human interaction in all areas of life -- from academic to professional, to personal. This book delivers the promise of its title, providing all readers with clear, succinct tips on how to write well.

The friendly, conversational tone of this book, combined with its uncomplicated organization, make it accessible and enjoyable for all readers. Here's How to Write Well is organized into three parts. Part I provides a guided tour of the writing process, including strategies for composing in six rhetorical modes, advice for crafting sentences and paragraphs, and revising and editing checklists. Part II constitutes a concise but complete guide for writing a research paper, with instruction for MLA and APA documentation of sources, including electronic sources. Part III is a handbook explaining the causes of typical errors and practical ways to correct them. Coverage of critical reading and logical thinking encourages readers to develop open and inquiring minds.

For instructors of critical reading and writing, and anyone interested in improving their writing skills.

Author Bio

McMahan, Elizabeth : Illinois State University

Funk, Robert : Eastern Illinois University

Table of Contents



1. The Planning Process.

The Need for Good Writing Skills.
Writing Seldom Goes Step-by-Step.
Think Before You Write.
Come Up with a Working Thesis.
Changing Your Thesis in Mid-Writing.
Dredging Up Details: Invention Techniques.
Bringing Order Out of Chaos: Outlining.

2. Addressing Your Readers.

Write Naturally as You Speak.
Adjust Your Tone.
Choose an Appropriate Level of Language.
Use Jargon Carefully.
Use Gender-Free Language.
Avoid Biased Language.
To Say It or Not to Say It: Euphemisms.

3. Useful Strategies for Developing Ideas.

Strategies for Narrative.
Strategies for Descriptions.
Strategies for Explaining a Process.
Strategies for Classifying and Analyzing.
Strategies for Comparing and Contrasting.
Strategies for Explaining Causes and Effects.

4. Reading Critically and Writing Logically.

Cultivate a Questioning Attitude.
Detecting Slanted Writing.
A Quick Look at Logic.
Think for Yourself.

5. Composing Effective Paragraphs.

Understanding the Basic Paragraph.
Developing the Ideas Fully.
Keeping Your Readers with You: Unity and Coherence.
Composing Special Paragraphs.

6. Polishing Your Sentences.

Sentence Combining: Coordination and Subordination.
How Sentence Combining Works.
When to Use Sentence Combining.
When to Use Sentence Combining.
Cut Out Unnecessary Words.
Use Mostly Active Voice.
Practice the Passive.
Be Specific and Vivid.
Exercise Your Imagination: Figures of Speech.
Constructing Impressive Sentences.
Use Parallel Structure.
Straightening Out Screwed-Up Sentences.

7. The Revising and Editing Process.

Revising Your First Draft.
Revising on a Word Processor.
Setting a Revision Agenda.
Editing the Final Draft.


8. Conducting Your Research.

Scheduling Your Research Paper.
Topics for Researched Writing.
Organizing Your Search.
Some Suggestions for Using the Library.
Using the Internet.
Sweating through the Research.

9. Using Your Sources.

Focusing the Thesis.
Organizing Your Notes.
Integrating Sources.
To Cite or Not to Cite.
To Quote or Not to Quote.
Working Quotations in Smoothly.
Avoiding Plagiarism.
Revising the Draft.
Sample Student Research Paper.

10. Documenting Your Sources.

The MLA Documentation Style for the Humanities.
Sample Entries for a Works Cited List.
The APA Documentation Style for the Social Sciences.
Sample Entries for a Reference List.


11. Punctuating for Clarity and Effectiveness.

Separating and Connecting.
Punctuating within Sentences: Using Commas.
When Not to Use Commas.
Punctuation between Sentences.
Marking Sentence Boundaries Clearly.
Recognizing and Revising Sentence Fragments.
Coping with Apostrophes.
Punctuating Quotations.
Using Italics (Underlining).
Using Hyphens.

12. Working with Verbs.

Getting Subjects and Verbs to Agree.
Watching Out for Irregular Verbs.
Staying in the Same Tense.

13. Managing Pronouns and Modifiers.

Sorting Out Agreement with Indefinite Pronouns.
Strategies for Avoiding Sexist Pronouns.
Confusion with the Pronouns This and Which.
Choosing Pronoun Case: I or Me? He or Him?
Revising Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers.

14. A User's Guide to Troublesome Words and Phrases.

Hazardous Usage.
Double Trouble: Words That Are Easily Confused.


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